Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud services in the world with over 500 million active users. It’s often the first choice for people looking for intuitive data backup and file sharing features at affordable price points, but it may not be the best choice for small and medium-sized firms. That’s because Dropbox has plenty of shortcomings.
1. Too expensive for small businesses
If you’re cost-conscious, you’ll notice that Dropbox is a fairly expensive solution for the storage space it offers. The Standard Dropbox Business plan gives 3TB of shared storage for $15 per user per month, which is not as generous as other cloud storage services like Google Drive or OneDrive that offer up to 1-2TB for each user at lower costs.
Dropbox does have an unlimited storage plan that costs $25 per user per month, but for that amount of money you may as well pay for a cloud productivity suite.
2. Limited collaboration
More companies want a full-featured cloud platform that gives them the flexibility to work anywhere. Dropbox is great for sharing files, co-editing documents in real time, and pulling up previous versions of a file, but it’s missing collaboration features like instant messaging, audio/video chat, group calendars, and project management. If your needs ever go beyond basic file sharing, you’ll likely be frustrated with Dropbox.
OneDrive offers the same capabilities of an advanced Dropbox subscription at almost half the price, and also integrates with a massive suite of Microsoft products including Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Power BI, and Outlook.
3. Synchronisation problems
For those who don’t know, Dropbox installs a folder on your computer that automatically uploads files to the cloud and shares them to other devices linked to your account. Any changes you make to these files are also saved in the cloud.
It’s a useful feature, but since it requires local file storage, you and your staff can quickly run out of hard drive space. If that ever happens, you have to purchase new hard drives and hire an expert to perform the necessary upgrades, which can be expensive.
File syncing also drains system resources. For example, syncing large files like databases, high-resolution photos, and 3D drawings to Dropbox significantly slows down your network. Small businesses may suffer the most from this feature since they usually don’t have lightning-fast internet connections.
4. Poor security
The biggest issue with Dropbox though, is security. Over the years, the company has fallen victim to several cyberattacks, including a breach in 2012 which affected more than 68 million users and an incident in 2014 where hackers held 7 million Dropbox passwords for ransom. Dropbox may have improved their security with features like multi-factor authentication and advanced encryption systems, but serious concerns still remain.
For starters, Dropbox retains copies of your encryption keys, which means their administrators can access your most sensitive files. Their privacy terms even give them the right to collect and share data from your files to third parties and government agencies.
The worst part is you have no control over the security software and patches used to protect your data. Instead, Dropbox manages it for you which may not be the best given their track record. It’s also not ideal for ensuring compliance with specific data regulations. For example, if there are private records that must stay within Australia, then Dropbox would be unsuitable because all its data centres are in the US.
Instead of opting for a storage-only service with minimal collaboration features, you should sign up for Office 365. It provides all the storage you need with OneDrive for Business and all the collaboration apps you know and love, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Skype. It even comes with advanced threat protection, encryption, and compliance management features, and more importantly, has a great track record with keeping files safe and sound.
For extra security and support, Empower IT Solutions will manage and maintain your Office 365 service, but we understand if you’re not ready to make the move just yet. If you want to learn more about the drawbacks of Dropbox and why you should move to Office 365, call us today.